Becoming An Owner Builder

Becoming an owner builder is a great way to save thousands of dollars on your new home. In most cases it is simply a matter of doing a short course (usually one weekend) and then paying a fee for the owner builder’s licence. This does vary from state to state. Below is a summary of the different procedures and fees for the different states of Australia.

Queensland (QLD)

This is one of the easiest states to acquire an owner builder’s permit. This permit is required when performing building work on your own property where this work if performed by a qualified builder would amount to more than $11,000. You are only allowed to apply for a permit once every six years. You are required to complete an owner builder’s course run by a BSA recognised course provider. Visit the BSA's website for a list of course providers. An application fee for an owner builder’s permit at time of writing is $294.00.

Western Australia (WA)

To acquire a owner builders permit for most areas of Western Australia you are required to complete a statutory declaration and pay a fee of $110 to the BRB (Builders Registration Board). An owner builder’s permit is required where the value of the building works is over $12,000. The owner builder is permitted to build once every six years and is able to sell their owner built home after 3 years but is required to take out Home Indemnity Insurance to cover future owners.

New South Wales (NSW)

An owner builder’s permit is required where the total value of the work is in excess of $12,000. You must complete an owner builder’s course or have approved equivalent experience and pay an owner-builder permit application fee of $135. For a list of approved courses, visit Home warranty insurance is required if the home owner decides to sell their owner built home during the six years after completion.

Victoria (VIC)

An owner builder’s permit is required for building works carried out on your land that exceeds $12,000. The applicant must sign a statutory declaration and pay a $75 fee. Owner builders may only obtain building permits for a single dwelling and associated work on a single property in any three-year period. If you sell your owner built home within six years of completion you are required to take out Builders Warranty Insurance. For more information visit the Building Commission web site:

Important - The above information is a guide only and the responsibility is with the reader to ascertain for themselves the correctness of this information. You are strongly advised to contact the relevant governing agencies in your state before making any decisions.